Winning the technology arms race
08 August 2012
Anyone looking to buy online ad inventory would appear to be spoilt for choice. Trading desks abound, many of which offer a significant return on investment that is naturally considered – or sold as – a good job well done. However, look a little closer and you will see that there are some serious changes afoot.
On the one hand, brands are starting to learn the right questions to ask to find out just how their budgets are being spent. At the moment, many lack the time or courage to climb into the driving seat and really question the complex buying process. However, as their understanding grows, “good” just isn’t going to cut it any more.
At the same time, the online customer journey is becoming increasingly complex. Multi-channel browsing and shopping habits make it important for brands to cast a wider net in terms of where they are looking for leads, and the combination of messages and formats they are using to attract people through the purchasing funnel.
The challenge is that some ad agencies are still operating in closed network environments and using limited technology, unable to bid effectively and reach the best audience wherever and whenever they are most engaged.
The reality is, online advertising is becoming a science business that will be won on the technology battleground. Advertisers’ ambitions are going to scale with the opportunities available and the realisation that open ad networks lead to significantly lower inventory costs. As a result, those agencies that are agile enough to take them there will have significant competitive advantage.
Open ad exchanges are experiencing meteoric ascent, because they enable hundreds of billions of impressions to be traded by the millisecond to ensure that the right message is reaching the right people whenever and wherever they are most engaged. A powerful suite of cutting edge technology is driving the highest performing campaigns; and critically, this is being constantly developed to keep up with the fast moving digital world.
These exchanges are the model of the future for all digital advertising. Like a moth to a flame, the more nimble media buyers are carefully selecting the best combination of technology and a channel-agnostic view of the market to deliver the best possible results at the best price – be it for a direct response or brand advertising campaign. These progressive solutions will change our views of what’s possible. They will encourage brands to aim higher, and lead to a seismic change in media buying relationships.
Dominic Trigg, managing director Europe, Rocket Fuel